Michigan State University

Interviews with Michigan Supreme Court Justices

Interviews with the Michigan Supreme Court Justices is a collection of oral history interviews with former members of the state's highest court. Since September 1990, the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society has conducted sixteen such interviews with Michigan's judicial luminaries and plans to continue to add to this vital and rich historical record as justices finish their service with the court.

In 2001, the Historical Society began a partnership with the Michigan State University Libraries aimed at bringing these priceless historical audio documents to the world. All of the existing analog interview recordings and transcripts have been digitzed by the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library of the Michigan State University Libraries. All of materials have also been professionally cataloged and are served from the Libraries' online public access catalog (OPAC) and via Web pages designed by MSU Libraries' staff.

View all 16 interviews

Or start with these randomly selected interviews from the collection.

About the Michigan Supreme Court

Since its founding in 1836, the Michigan Supreme Court has featured an array of colorful and astute legal giants who have shaped Michigan law and national legal scholarship. The collection includes the voices of such famous legal minds and Supreme Court Justices as Dennis Archer, the former Mayor of Detroit, former Michigan Governor John Swainson and John Voelker who, as Robert Traver, wrote the bestselling courtroom novel, Anatomy of a Murder. In these interviews, the justices talk about the inner workings of the court, their colleagues, legal and legislative issues and important cases they heard during their tenure. As in the best oral histories, the justices are often candid in their comments and eager to set the historical record straight.

About the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

The Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society was founded in 1988 as a non-profit corporation charged with documenting the history of the Court and promoting the study of Michigan's extensive legal and judicial history. The Society, which currently has about 450 members, sponsors historical research, the creation of educational materials for students, public events, and historical exhibits and programs. It is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

About the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library

The G. Robert Vincent Voice Library of the Michigan State University Libraries is one of the largest academic collections of spoken word recordings in the United States and includes over 40,000 hours of speeches and interviews, dating back to 1888. Voice Library collection policies are eclectic by design, but strong areas of emphasis include American and foreign politics and government, popular culture, sports, literature and the arts, old radio, labor history, Michigan history, and current events and news. Items are cataloged at the item level and are found in the MSU Libraries' OPAC and at the Voice Library Web page.